Chris Quigg was born in Bainbridge, Maryland, and grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He graduated in physics from Yale in 1966 and received his Ph.D. at Berkeley in 1970 with J. D. Jackson. After four years in the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook, he moved to Fermilab, which has been his scientific home ever since. He was for ten years Head of Fermilab's Theoretical Physics Department, and held a joint appointment at the University of Chicago from 1974 to 1991. In 1987 he returned to Berkeley to serve for two years as Deputy Director of the Superconducting Super Collider Central Design Group. He has held visiting appointments at École Normale Supérieure in Paris, Cornell University, and Princeton University; was Erwin Schrödinger Professor at the University of Vienna; and Scholar-in-Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. Chris Quigg has lectured at summer schools around the world.
Quigg's research spans many topics in particle physics, from hadron structure through ultrahigh-energy neutrino interactions. His work on electroweak symmetry breaking and supercollider physics has been recognized by the 2011 J. J. Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society for outstanding achievement in particle theory (shared with his collaborators: Estia Eichten, Ian Hinchliffe, and Kenneth Lane). His current research focuses on experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. A new edition of his textbook, Gauge Theories of the Strong, Weak, and Electromagnetic Interactions, is in the works from Princeton University Press.
Chris Quigg is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society, and held an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. In 2007, he received an Alexander von Humboldt Award to conduct research in Germany. Quigg has been Divisional Associate Editor of Physical Review Letters (1980-1983), Associate Editor of Reviews of Modern Physics (1981-1993), and Editor of the Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science (1994-2004). As Chair of the APS Division of Particles and Fields, he led the organization of Snowmass 2001: a Summer Study on the Future of Particle Physics.
A longtime participant in the visiting scientist program of the American Institute of Physics, Quigg was a charter member of Saturday Morning Physics, Fermilab's enrichment program for high school students. He served as Trustee of the Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy. Professor Quigg has lectured and written frequently for the general public on the aspirations and achievements of particle physics. He was a consultant to WQED and the National Academy of Sciences for the Infinite Voyage television series and a featured speaker in the companion Discovery Lectures on college campuses. He gave the first Carl Sagan Memorial Lecture in the series Cosmos Revisited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. He was featured in The Ultimate Particle, a road movie of particle physics broadcast on ARTE in France and Germany.